Martinez told the council earlier this month that Rosario is his stepfather. However, both he and Diaz denied having any contact with the former shop owner.
Still, the connection drew doubt for some councilors. Jonathan Weydt, Walter Thibodeau and Mark Cooper voted against the measure. Weydt said Diaz wasn't up front about her relationship with Rosario when she first appeared before the board at a public hearing on Oct. 2.
Ties with Rosario were brought to the forefront when license committee chair Jeremy Denlea questioned Martinez at the hearing.
"I would have preferred the applicant to come up here and
immediately been up front about that," Weydt said.
"The relationship wasn’t made obvious," Cooper said. "I’m struggling with
Thibodeau, the Ward 1 City Councilor, said earlier this month he would not support the measure because constituents told him "they do not want that business to operate in the same
fashion they have operated previously."
Others spoke in support of Diaz.
"I feel very strongly in this country as a place of free
enterprise and a person should not be condemned because of a relative or
association but should be able to stand on their own merits and their own
performance," Councilor Peter Blais said.
"In this world we live in, many of us have step parents or step
brothers. Some of them are not so good. Some are good," Councilor Sara-Lynn Reynolds added. "..The point is; is she a proper person?
- and I think we ought to stick to that."
An amendment was introduced by councilor Richard Conti mean to ensure Diaz was present during all business hours, but it was ultimately struck down. Councilor Brian Kirby abstained from the vote, due to a conflict of interest. Kirby lives in the same neighborhood as the shop.